American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
"Reckless" could play on the same double bill with "The Nightmare Before Christmas," although I'm not sure anyone would be singing carols on the way out.
It's a dark comedy that begins with the creepy underside of Christmas, and branches out into the creepy underside of just about everything else. It's one of those films where you think it's only a dream, and then when everyone wakes up, it's worse.
The movie stars Mia Farrow as Rachel, wide-eyed and trusting, and comfortably wrapped in the happiness of her marriage. On Christmas Eve, she hears a noise downstairs, and turns to her husband (Tony Goldwyn) for comfort, only to see him burst into tears and confess that he knows exactly what is causing the noise: a hit man he hired to kill her.
Rachel tries to escape by crawling out her bedroom window, which her husband slams on her; then she slides down the roof, lands in a snow bank, and is off on a macabre series of adventures. Her house, and the landscape it occupies, are creations of the production designer (Andrew Jackness), who makes everything a little too small and a little too idealized to be real. The house seems to have about half a room on every floor, and the landscape looks like a Christmas card painted by an artist who has had severe difficulties mastering the skill of perspective.
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